Teacher loses RM112,000 to ‘American soldier’ love scam

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 12 Jul 2020

KEPALA BATAS: Falling in love is the sweetest thing, but the experience turned bitter for a teacher who lost a fortune after she fell head over heels for an “American soldier”.

The 37-year-old woman lost RM112,000 after being duped to part with her savings in a love scam.

She encountered the man through an Internet messaging service in May, and her friendship with him soon blossomed into love.

North Seberang Prai OCPD Asst Comm Noorzainy Mohd Noor said the victim was overwhelmed with joy when the man expressed his love and wanted to marry her.

“She was taken in by his sweet and romantic words, claiming he wanted to come to Malaysia and marry her.

“Believing that his account had been blocked by the authorities, she transferred RM65,000 into his account as travel expenses from the United States to Malaysia as well as for wedding preparations,” said ACP Noorzainy.

Later, when he told her that travel insurance was required due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the victim applied for a RM47,000 personal loan and sent him the money.

ACP Noorzainy said the victim made 17 bank transactions in total, amounting to RM112,000.

On Friday, she finally came to her senses and lodged a police report after realising that she had been cheated.

In another cheating case, ACP Noorzainy said a government retiree lost almost RM22,000 to a Macau scam syndicate through a bogus call.

He said the victim, aged 63, received a call from an “officer” from Bank Negara, who told him that his credit card had been misused by a third party.

“He instructed the victim to give the TAC number for checking purposes.

“The victim realised he had been cheated when he counter-checked with the bank and found that his credit card had been charged for RM21,985,” he said.

ACP Noorzainy urged the public not to give out personal details to callers, claiming to be someone with authority, over the phone.

The Macau scam often starts with a phone call from someone pretending to be an officer from a bank, government agency or debt collector.

The scammer will then claim that the potential victim owes money, has an unpaid fine or is involved in undesirable activities, often with a very short window of less than an hour to settle the payment, or else they will face “dire consequences”.

These victims will then be asked to make payments to get them off the hook.

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